One Year

Today marks the end of a year of grief and sadness. May 7, 2012, Jackson Neil DeLoach was gone from us forever. We have survived a year of firsts. Dear God, if we have survived this year surely we will survive this day as well. When does the grief end? Is it today?I don’t think so.

So now I choose to take this day and write some things that I have learned during this very long…very slow year. I hope you will indulge me a bit, today this is what I need to do…write it out….

I have learned that you can cry at some point in every day, 365 straight days.

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it.  ~Albert Smith

I have learned that you can say “I would give my life for that child to be alive and in his Mommy and Daddy’s arms” and mean it. Seriously mean it.

When I say “A Mom is only as happy as her saddest child”. Truer words have never been spoken. As a Mother the pain of watching your children live in pain is almost unbearable. My friend Julie says it is the double wammy, you have your grief and their grief.  She is right. (she usually is but don’t tell her).

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.  ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

I have learned that you can cry at the strangest times. One time I was on a step ladder putting crystal in a cabinet and I burst into  tears. I don’t know why in that place and in that moment!

It’s so curious:  one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses.  ~Colette

I have learned the about depth of love that exsits in our little family. We are a small family but we are mighty. There is great love here. Many go a lifetime and never know the love that we know exsists   every minute of every day. It is almost palpable.

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.  ~Anthony Brandt

I have always said that my job as a parent is to be a safety net below my children. Let them fly and “do their thing” we are just advisors, they must fly on their own… and they fly knowing we will be there if needed for the catch.  We have had to do some “catching” this year.

I have learned the blessings of friendship. I swear if I live to be a million years old I will never be able to explain the  comfort, understanding and strength I have received from my friends. I am blessed I am so very very blessed! I live to give back what I have been given. A sacred committment for me.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~Albert Schweitzer

I know now, that short of this side of eternity there are no answers for why this happened to my child and her husband my Son in Love. No answers so I don’t waste time looking.

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.  ~Author Unknown

I have learned that people say really strange and sometimes really hurtful things. I don’t want to even tell you or try to explain the things that have been said to me about the loss of a child. Here is the funny thing. Because of the above blessings…I just move on and smile. After all you can’t walk around feeling so lucky and blessed and have anger in your heart and mind right?

… then there is the grief anger thing. I know about the anger that is felt when you can’t understand why one so precious is ripped from this world. Yes, Elisabeth Kubler Ross was spot on with those stages of grief! I know the exact feeling that Sally Field portrayed in the movie Steel Magnolias at the cemetary upon the death of her child Shelby. There have been moments when I wanted to scream and punch something. Right Weeezer?

I have learned the death of a child is not normal…not the way it is supposed to happen. I have lost both parents and family members. I know loss, but this kind of loss is mind blowingly crippling.

Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow – it is not a permanent rest stop.  ~Dodinsky

I have learned that  you can laugh a lot and still be heartbroken at the same time. Will I ever have a great big belly laugh  again and mean it? I could use that.

I have learned that working like crazy certainly helps to distract you from the grief process but eventually a day comes that you MUST DEAL WITH IT! I have learned you cannot hide from grief, no way!
                    If you suppress grief too much, it can well redouble.  ~Moliere

I have learned how to be phoney. I know I can fake happiness.You can fake it if you have to.  I’ve gotten to be quite good at it. Someone said to me “You seem to be back to your old self again.” little did that person know I was deeper in grief than I had been in past months. I was about to burst into flames my grief was so strong! 
On that note I have learned that people don’t need to see you all crummy and sad. It is not good to be all droopy and a bummer of a person. Nobody wants to be around that all the time. 

I don’t know why they call it heartbreak.  It feels like every other part of my body is broken too.  ~Missy Altijd

I am learning about deep promises. Promises that come straight from the heart.  I have always thought that promises were very important. I promised Jackson I would be BETTER NOT BITTER. I hope I’m keeping my promise because I think about that every single day. I will work on this for the rest of my life.

I have learned that faith is so important and the value of quiet prayer and meditation is a very good thing. This is a very private thing too, nuff said.

                      God is closest to those with broken hearts.  ~Jewish Saying

I have learned that you can miss someone every day. Someone you never knew.

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.  I miss you like hell.  ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

I have learned that there is a lot of stuff in everyday life that is just not important. We talk about that but I have learned about it on the front lines. I am changed. I will run as fast as I can from drama.

I have relearned that there are some things in life that you didn’t think were important one day and then you learn the next day just how important that very thing was. So, with that I have learned to listen closely. Sometimes the most important messages come in a whisper.

 In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.  ~Robert Ingersoll
I have learned the true meaning of hope and this is where I live now in a place called HOPE. I choose positivity and hope.

 That hurt we embrace becomes joy. Call it to your arms where it can change. ~Rumi

We are planting Jackson’s garden. My dear Thimbles Club friends gave us a gift certificate last summer to begin Jackson‘s garden. It was very hot to plant new things (we do live in Georgia/HOTLANTA) so we said we would begin the garden on May 7th 2013. We actually began this weekend. It is going to take some time to get it all planted. I have made 73,000 trips to every nursery within 50 miles of my house!

I love Hydrangeas..serious love so there are lots of those!

along with Gardenias, Roses, Butterfly bushes and Bridal Wreath Spirea!

And the BEST a little statue of a little boy sitting and reading. I love him. I swear I do. 

Joyful days ahead, with belly laughs and happiness ! I know it I swear I do. 

We miss you JND and will forever. 


  1. 1

    Pat, I will be thinking of you and your family today especially. Your post was beautifully written and the quotes were wonderful and touching. I wish you all strength, peace and hope.

  2. 2

    Thank you for this beautiful post Pat. My heart and prayers are with you.

  3. 3

    I just want you to know that I love you and am holding you up in prayer.

  4. 4

    You truly have no idea, Pat, how often I think of you and yours (especially your adorable daughter & son in law). I try as hard as I can to send healing thoughts and prayers. Today I’m sending a BIG HUG In Friendship!

  5. 5

    My thought a d prayers are with you all on this difficult and sad day.

  6. 6

    Pat you are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers. k

  7. 7

    My thoughts are with you on this sad day. When my mother passed, I know the first anniversary was the saddest day. I had already had to go through Christmas, her birthday and then Mother’s Day.
    Your statement about crying every day is so true. The last two years have been rough ones for my husband and I financially and I told a friend at church one day that “you just can’t cry everyday”. But you can and I have. Many thoughts and prayers with your family today.

  8. 8

    Always remember you have a beautiful angel watching over you.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  9. 9

    They say that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, but you can’t help but wonder why He gave you so much and such a difficult one to handle. I hurt in my heart for you, Emily and Russ today. I know that you all, too, are hurting… just remember, I love ya more than my luggage.

  10. 10

    What a fantastic and well-written post.I read and like the post.It,s extremely good and very helpful for me..
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  11. 11

    I think this is the best post I have ever read on a blog! Everyone should read this post.
    Thank you for being able to so eloquently put in to words all that I have felt.
    And yes, one of the most difficult things, as a Mother, is seeing your children in so much pain and not being able to make it better for them.
    I wish for you and your family strength, hope and love.

  12. 12

    Oh Pat, the tears are flowing as I read your post. It will be 3 years on Tuesday, May 14th that we lost our daughter and I too, have cried everyday…sometimes over what seems insignificant. I can honestly say it never gets better, but you convince yourself that this is part of life and go on. My heart goes out to you and your lovely family and you honor your grandson’s passing. XOXO

  13. 13

    I think about you so very often. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You are blessing more people than you will ever know….

  14. 14

    The grief never ends but it does get lighter. Your post today was beautiful and so insightful. I wish I could somehow share it with everyone who has lost a child/grandchild. The dark at the end of the tunnel does get lighter, it just takes a good long while. My prayers are with you and your family – your daughters and SIL are truly blessed to have you in their lives.

  15. 15

    Giant HUGS to you and your family.

  16. 16

    I Love You!

  17. 17

    Pat, I have been thinking of you and your family often this week. My prayer for all of you is comfort and peace. I think you all keep each other strong through your love for each other.

  18. 18

    My thoughts are with you and your family. No one ever tells you that grief remains a raw wound that easily opens. I don’t have the right words to say but know that I am thinking of you and your family always. This is an amazing post & I hope it brings as much insight and comfort to you as it did to the readers. Miss you. G

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